1. King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The young monarch of the Kingdom of Siam was a cool cat and accomplished musician who jammed with jazz greats Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman, and bluesman B.B. King. When not in traditional or military dress, the King cut a graceful figure in bespoke suits, dark glasses, and fine Swiss timepieces.
2. John F. Kennedy
With his favorite blue pinstripe single-breasted suits and casual weekend sailing outfits, JFK broke stuffy English tradition and defined American presidential style to come.
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3. Jawaharlal Nehru
The “Nehru jacket” may have symbolized Indian nationalism, but the Harrow-educated first prime minister of India always had his personal tailors adopt the style and discipline of Savile Row.
4. The men of the House of Windsor
From Edward, the Duke of Windsor, the Crown Prince Charles, to the dapper Prince William, impeccable taste in tailored clothing is turning out to be the defining trait of the bloodline. Only the gentlemen of the House of Windsor can turn Barbour jackets, tartan kilts, mismatched patterns, and oversized tie knots into fashion statements.
This story first appeared in Vault Magazine Issue 2 2011.